Photo: Oliver Baker

Ruster Armored Hen House


The draw: Avoids baggage fees

To beat oversize baggage fees, Ruster has gone with two bags: one for frame and parts, and one for wheels. But here’s the catch: Packing requires significant breakdown. To get a bike into a Hen House requires removal of wheels, pedals, bars, stem, seat post, front brake and fork. And the frame bag is tight—Ruster says XL frames will only fit with cranks removed, and bikes with integrated seat masts may not fit at all. You’ll load your bike into the case upside-down and if you’re one of the lucky ones, the Hen House will zip shut. The wheel bag, on the other hand, is big; wheels easily slide in with plenty of room for your other gear. The packing instructions have 17 steps—Ruster supplies Velcro straps and pipe insulation for protection—so this case is for the mechanically skilled. Ruster claims your work will be rewarded by saving up to $300 per flight in fees.